COAL TOWNSHIP - Richard A. Kashnoski is a candidate for the Shamokin Area School Board.

A graduate of Shamokin Area High School, he earned a degree in finance and business administration at Bloomsburg University. He is the vice president of commercial lending for Miners Bank in Schuylkill County. He also serves as the varsity diving coach for Shamokin Area High School.

"Through my experience in banking and the financial industry, I would be a good fit to help build and restructure our district. I also think that my coaching experience has taught me dedication and a drive to succeed," Kashnoski said. "My banking experience has allowed me to gain the knowledge of what it takes to make a business successful."

Kashnoski pointed out that people in business rely on their customers. "These customers are what drive any business to succeed. Unfortunately, aside from the hard-working taxpayers, the government and our legislatures will never be a customer we can rely on to keep us in business through continued subsidies and funding. It is time to start thinking outside of the box so that we are not faced with relying on the taxpayer even more," he remarked.

Kashnoski said it is imporant to show that "the business we call the Shamokin Area" is a leader and a role model in how to build a successful school district. "I know that we are faced with many challenges including funding and cutbacks, all while trying to give our students a quality education. The funding and the ability to keep class 'A' teachers in our district is one of my main goals," he said.

"I think we need to focus on what is important, what is close to all of our hearts and what is best for everyone involved. This focus needs to be on what the district can offer our children. We need to stand together and become one. We need to not separate or overlook the core competencies of what builds a district and makes it strong," Kashnoski continued. "We need to allow our children the opportunity for activities and education that make for a well-rounded graduate, and we need to focus on bringing and maintaining a quality-driven faculty whose priority is that of the student."

Kashnoski noted that education and learning start at an early age. "These fundamentals are sometimes driven by outside avenues that grasp the attention of our youth, allowing these children to have opportunities such as art, music and theatre that enhance not only the child's well-roundedness, but also engages them in developing their future. Fundamentals develop creativity and present an opportunity to achieve more and take on more challenges in life.

"Strengths that I can bring to this district are to never give up, never stop chasing your dream, and never take no for an answer. We will always be faced with obstacles, challenges and answers that we do not want to hear or accept, but through determination and desire, I want to bring back the opportunities we once had. I want to prove that I am passionate about the children and the school district that I would be honored to serve," he concluded.